Monday, February 6, 2023

Jamshedpur: Congress, BJP face-off as inauguration of Khudiram statue at Mango Chowk turns political

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Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, Nov 26: The inauguration of a statue of legendary freedom fighter from Bengal Khudiram Bose near the Mango roundabout on Saturday ran into rough weather as political parties clashed over who should be the one to have the honour of unveiling the effigy.

The Jamshedpur (West) MLA and state’s health minister Banna Gupta was invited by the Tata Steel UISL to inaugurate the statue. But, soon after the inauguration, BJP workers gathered at the spot and started protesting against the event and demanding that the Jamshedpur MP Bidyut Baran Mahato should have also been invited to the programme.

Earlier, the statue of Khudiram Bose and Sikh community’s religious symbol – Khanda – were set up on the Mango roundabout. But, that had increased the size of the roundabout and later, it was decided to relocate the statue and Khanda to a spot on the road divider beside the now-smaller roundabout.

On Saturday as matters turned volatile, the organizers tried to reason with the protestors but the agitated BJP workers refused to calm down. Gunjan Yadav, president of BJP’s Mahanagar unit, asserted that the organisers along with the authorities of the Mango Municipal Corporation should tender an apology to the MP and that they will not tolerate Mahato’s insult. Mahato also reached the spot and demanded that his name should be added to the plaque within 48 hours.

The fracas intensified when Congress party workers also reached the spot and challenged the BJP protestors. The situation at the Mango Chowk threatened to turn volatile when members of the Bang Samaj Purvi Ghosh and Arpana Guha reached the spot and demanded that members of the Bengali community should also be represented in the inauguration of Khudiram Bose’s statue. Arpana Ghosh told the organizers that Purvi Ghosh should be included in the list of invitees for the inauguration. When they did not get a favourable response to their demands, the Bang Samaj members started protesting, and shouted slogans against the organizers of the event.

Traffic at the busy Mango Chowk  was thrown out of gear as the protest intensified and BJP workers proceeded to stage a sit-in at the near the freedom fighter’s statue. City police personnel from Ulidih police station reached the spot and intervened on time to prevent matters from turning violent. The police maintained vigil to prevent the situation from deteriorating any further.

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